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Garden Story Review

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Posted: 8 months ago, last updated 3 days ago.

Author: Jo Robertson, @GeekDadGamer and Ben Kendall.

OverviewOverview

Garden Story is a role-playing adventure, crafting and farming game similar to Stardew Valley. It also features combat, dungeons and puzzles similar to the Zelda games. You defend your garden-home from an invasion on malignant rot monsters and restore peace to the land and its inhabitants, all of which are fruit. It has prevalent themes of environmentalism and care for nature, and its unique pastel pixel-art style combined with its relaxing music and whimsical story create an aura of calm and differentiate the game from others.

You play Concord, the youngest grape in The Grove, who must become the guardian of the land after the previous protector vanishes. As well as nurturing the four seasonal towns (one for each season) in The Grove by helping their residents, you need to fight against the rot invasion with the help of your friends Rana, Elderberry and Fuji.

Although on the surface, the game appears similar to other tend and befriend titles, where you complete side quests and daily missions for the inhabitants, the primary gameplay is actually more complex.

As you defeat rot in each of the four towns, you discover each responds differently to attack. There's a deep combat system, skill tree and potions, each of which offers different advantages to you. At the end of each village's primary quest, there's a dungeon with puzzles and a boss battle. There is also little difficulty increase as you progress, so it is accessible to a wider range of players.

It's a unique blend of Zelda-like exploration, combat and puzzle-solving paired with the simple charm of RPGs and games like Stardew Valley that make it a unique offering in the gaming space and can help to create spaces for conversation about the natural world and our responsibility for it.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-12 year-olds

Release Date: 11/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: @Picogram_Art

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 7 hours and 15 hours to complete. With plenty of side quests and easy-to-miss hidden details, the time to beat will vary depending on how you play. You can expect some play sessions to go on for over an hour though.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 7 for Fear and Mild Violence.

Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Fantasy Violence.


Skill Rating: This game is enjoyed by 10-12 year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity.

AccessibilityAccessibility

While there aren't any difficulty options, the game doesn't get any harder as you go through, meaning that it is still rather accessible in that regard. By turning on Perish Prevention in the settings, you make it so that you don't die.

While the text is high contrast (usually black on a white background), some of it is quite small and cannot be adjusted, although subtitles and captions are all large and clear.

The HUD, which provides information on your mission objectives, health and other information cannot be adjusted, but is well laid out as to not intrude on the gameplay. You can bind weapons to specific hotkeys.
 
Our Garden Story Accessibility Report details 28 accessibility features:


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